Articles of Religious Belief of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College
Article I - Sole Authority of Scriptures.
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God in the highest and fullest sense, and is the unrivalled authority in determining the faith and practice of God’s people; that the sixty-six books of the Bible are divinely and uniquely inspired, and that they have come down to us substantially as they were under inspiration written. These Scriptures reveal all that is necessary for us to know of God’s plan of redemption and human duty. We deny the inspiration of other books, ancient or modern, and exalt the Bible to an unchallenged throne in our confidence. These Scriptures do not require the authorized interpretation of any church, or council, but are divinely intended for personal study and interpretation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Article II - One Triune God Who Is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in one only true and living God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in every spiritual excellence, and who is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three, as the essential mode of His existence. The Father is the Head of the Trinity, into whose hands finally the Kingdom shall be given up. The Son is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary, given to reveal God, died to redeem man, rose from the dead to justify the believer, is now at the right hand of God as our Advocate and Intercessor, and at the time the Father keeps in His own power, He will return in visible, personal and bodily form for the final overthrow of sin, the triumph of His people and the judgment of the world.
The Holy Spirit is a Person who has been sent from God to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, to regenerate and cleanse from sin, and to teach, guide, strengthen, and perfect the believer.
Article III - Satan and Sinful Man.
We believe that man was created innocent, but that being tempted by Satan, he sinned, and thereafter all men have been born in sin, and are by nature children of wrath. The original tempter was Satan, the personal devil, who with his angels has been since carrying on his work of iniquity among the nations of the earth. The essence of sin is non-conformity to the will of God, and its end is eternal separation from God.
Article IV - Christ, God’s Way of Atonement.
We believe that a way has been provided whereby men born in sin may be reconciled to God. That Way is Jesus Christ, whose death atoned for our sin, and through union with Him we become partakers of His merits, and escape the condemnation of God’s holy law. The atonement becomes personally effective through the foreordination and the grace of God, and the free choice and faith of man.
Article V - Christ, the Only Savior From Sin, Without Whom Men Are Condemned.
We believe that apart from Jesus Christ there is no salvation. He is the only and all-sufficient Savior of sinners, irrespective of natural talents, family connection, or national distinction. All men are under condemnation through personal sin, and escape from condemnation comes only to those who hear and accept the gospel. The heathen, then, are under condemnation just as well as those who hear and reject the gospel, for they are sinners by both nature and practice. The pressing and inviolable obligation rests upon every church and individual to present the gospel to all men, that to all men may come the means of eternal life. Unless we proclaim the gospel we shall suffer loss, not only in this life, but in the day when we render to God the account of our stewardship.
Article VI - Conversion Includes Repentance, Faith, Regeneration, and Justification.
We believe that the Christian life begins with conversion. Conversion has several aspects, including repentance, faith, regeneration, and justification. Repentance implies a deep and sincere change of thinking, feeling, and willing toward sin and God, and faith is the surrender of the entire personality, thought, feeling, and volition to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Regeneration is the act of the Holy Spirit by which the sinner is born again, and his whole being is radically changed so that the believer becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. Justification is the judicial act of God by which the sinner is declared forgiven and freed from the condemnation of his sin, on the ground of the perfect righteousness of Christ, imputed by grace through faith. The life begun in regeneration is never lost, but by the grace and power of God, and the faith and cooperation of the believer is constantly brought nearer to that state of perfect holiness which we shall experience finally in heaven.
Article VII - Final Resurrection of All Men.
We believe in the final resurrection of all men, both the just and the unjust; and that those who here believe unto salvation shall be raised to everlasting life, while those who here disbelieve shall be raised to everlasting condemnation.
Article VIII - A New Testament Church Is a Body of Baptized Believers, Observing Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that a New Testament Church is a voluntary assembly, or association of baptized believers in Christ covenanted together to follow the teachings of the New Testament in doctrine, worship, and practice. We believe there are only two Church ordinances– baptism and the Lord’s Supper–and that a church, as a democratic organization, is served by only two types of officers–pastors or bishops, and deacons. We believe that saved believers are the only scriptural subjects of baptism, and that immersion, or dipping, or burial, in water, and resurrection therefrom is the only scriptural act of baptism. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the partaking by the church of bread and wine, as a memorial of the Lord’s death, and our expectation of His return. The bread typifies His body; the wine typifies His blood. We deny the actual presence of His body and blood in the bread and wine.
Article IX - Lord’s Day and Christian Support of Civil Government.
We believe that the Christian Sabbath, or Lord’s Day, should be observed as a day of rest and Christian service in memory of the resurrection of Christ, and as a means of Christian development and usefulness. We believe in civil government as of divine appointment, in the complete separation of church and state, and in the universal right to civil and religious liberty.
Article X - Baptist Loyalty to Distinctive Baptist Doctrines.
We believe that Baptists stand for vital and distinctive truths, to many of which other denominations do not adhere, and that we cannot compromise these truths without disloyalty to the Scriptures and our Lord. We believe that we should cooperate with other denominations insofar as such cooperation does not affect these truths, but no union with them is possible, except on the basis of acceptance in full of the plain teachings of the Word of God.